Oklahoma tornado relief effort as it happened

Key points

  • A massive tornado ripped through Oklahoma City's suburbs on Monday, flattening neighbourhoods with winds of up to 200mph
  • Officials say at least 24 people died, nine of them children - an elementary school with no safe room was among the worst-hit buildings
  • President Obama declared the incident a major disaster, saying the full scale of human and economic loss would not be known for some time
  • Three local hospitals treated some 237 people, including nearly 70 children - most of whom were discharged by Tuesday afternoon
  • Thunderstorms slowed Tuesday's rescue effort, but 100 people were pulled from the debris alive, officials say
  • All times BST (Eastern Daily Time +5)

Live text


  • Jasmine Coleman 
  • Michael Hirst 
  • Aidan Lewis 
  • Jonathan Griffin 
  • Victoria Park 

Last updated 21 May 2013


Welcome to the BBC's live coverage of the aftermath of a huge tornado in the US state of Oklahoma, which has left at least 91 people dead and dozens injured.


We will bring you the latest on the rescue efforts from our reporters at the scene, as well as photos, tweets and eyewitness accounts from around the web.


There are scenes of devastation in Moore, on the outskirts of Oklahoma, with whole neighbourhoods flattened by the storm.


Ry'Lee Meek in Moore, Oklahoma

says: I was at work when the tornado struck. My dad had to call me and told me to get home right away. I had to go get my brother - who is 14 - from school in the evening. They shut down the whole city and it took three hours to pick him up. The city is pretty much destroyed. One of my friend's mothers was killed. My cousin is a school teacher at one of the elementary schools that got destroyed and she made it out.


Journalist for @Coloradoan and @USAToday, Trevor Hughes in Oklahoma

tweets: Authorities have shut off interstate access to Moore, Oklahoma following Monday's tornado.


John Hart, Oklahoma Storm Prediction Centre

said the tornado was "one of the strongest ever seen". A "tornado of this magnitude... they're extremely rare, but people who have never experienced one just can't imagine the strength of the winds," he told the BBC's Newsday.


Google's Crisis Response unit has published this map showing shelters open to receive displaced Oklahomans.


Alastair Leithead, BBC News, Oklahoma

reports: Floodlights and heavy lifting equipment have been brought in to clear the heavier debris - rescuers are proceeding with great care but also urgency.


People look for belongings after a tornado struck Moore, Oklahoma

The tornado hit on Monday evening, and before night fell residents of Moore began trying to salvage what belongings they could.


Vara Szajkowski, BBC News

tweets this more recent picture from the scene and says: Aftermath of the tornado in Moore. Power lines down everywhere. Search & rescue continuing at Plaza Towers School.

Power lines down in Moore, Oklahoma